Mary Magdalen Martinengo da Barco was born as the daughter of a noble family, her father being Fidelis, who was the son of noble parents, in Brescia, Italy. Her mother died when she was only 5 months old, and her childhood was lived with many psychological disturbances. However, she later joined the Capuchinesses of Santa Maria della Neve.
Her responsibilities in the convent varied from portress to Novice Mistress, and eventually superior of the convent. In order to fully imitate her foundress, St. Clare of Assisi, Mary distinguished herself in modesty, patience and obedience. She had a great devotion to the Passion of Our Lord, and the climax of every day for her were her numerous visits to the Blessed Sacrament. God rewarded her with the gifts of miracles and prophecy.
Mary Magdalen died when she reached the age of fifty, and she was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1900.